As a pacifist, I have been in interesting discussions with people who strongly disagree with me. Yet they have always agreed that the way of peace is a worthy one, and one they want to see realized. Their problem, more often than not, is that it simply isn’t the way things are.
Too often our understanding of “the way things are” paralyzes us. We end up living with mindsets that fit within the three days between Christ’s crucifixion and his resurrection. We forget that, as Christians, we live resurrection lives. See what NT Wright says in his book After You Believe:
“The undertow of the continuing present age does its best to persuade those who through faith and baptism are already part of the age to come that in fact nothing much has changed, and that they should simply continue as they were, living the same life that everyone else is living. “The way the world is” is a powerful, insidious force, and it takes all the energy of new creation, not least of faith and hope, to remind oneself that the age to come really is already here, with all its new possibilities and prospects.” (152)
Most of us get sucked in by the undertow of the way things are. While we need to grapple with and admit that the world is broken and fallen, we often overemphasize this side of things to the detriment of the other. We forget just how radically the resurrection changes things. We reduce the resurrection to a nice apologetic point, showing there must have been something to that Jesus fellow after all.
Apologetics are valuable and have their place, but the resurrection is so much more. It is the breaking in of the age to come. It is the driving force, the tide pulling the waves of the future age onto the shore. The resurrection changes everything: it changes our relationships, our spiritual lives, our ethics. The way things are can no longer be used as a mournful cry because this resurrection life is now a fundamental part of the way things are for the Christian.
Yet most of us read this post (including myself) and feel that it’s ideal, over-zealous. In the end, we think it does not really map to reality. Yet if we believe the resurrection to be true, we cannot stay in such a mindset. Christ calls us out of our resignation to the way things are to prophetically imagine what the future looks like as it erupts into the present.
May our lives this week be evidently changed by the resurrection as we realize that the way things are is no longer the way things were but is a new reality through Christ.